In 1966, and again 20 years later with THE NEXT GENERATION, Gene Roddenberry gave us all a very hopeful vision of the future. His edict was simple: all of humanity came together a long time ago, setting aside their differences, and now work for the common good of our species. He always showed us the best of humanity, represented by the crews of the Starships Enterprise and Enterprise-D. Rick Berman, Ronald Moore, Ira Behr, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor continued on with that tradition when they gave us DS9, VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE. Even in DS9, humanity on Earth was shown as perfect, living in paradise, wanting for nothing. I will even say that JJ Abrams got it in his series of films.
So why is it so difficult for Alex Kurtzman to get it right?
In Kurtzman Trek, we have characters who have common ailments (common Earth allergies (Tilly), Earth herb-drug addiction (Rafi), autism (Dr. Jurati)). We have conflict among humans (STD) that are so rough that you can easily mistake the “prime” for the “mirror” universe. We have seen Earth that is modeled very much like the modern day rather than the future, except with “flying cars.”
None of these should exist among humans in the 23rd or 24th/25th centuries. Why?
Of course, when Gene Roddenberry created STAR TREK, he imagined humanity the way we saw it on screen, and in the opening of this piece. However, he didn’t just make it blanket and say, “Humans are this way, just because I said so.” He actually created, and others have helped to shape, reasons why humans were like this.
It’s not good, to say the least. I’m not saying the reasons suck – I’m saying that the dark and bleak was reserved for how we got to Roddenberry humanity. It’s a future that we see in Kurtzman Trek, and why it doesn’t belong. So, let’s explore the in-universe exploration of the shaping of humanity.
Did they take place in the 20th, 21st or 22nd centuries? According to TOS, Khan was ruler of over a quarter of Earth in the 21st century. In THE WRATH OF KHAN, we had an exact year: 1996, the 20th century (technicality?). In DS9’s “Doctor Bashir, I Presume,” when Julian’s parents were speaking to the admiral in the penultimate scene of the episode, the admiral suggests that the Eugenics Wars may have been in the 22nd century!
Jonathan Archer had a relative who fought the Augments in Northern Africa, in a family tale where two sides ceased fire to evacuate a school full of children.
Author Greg Cox and JJ Abrams went into detail about the wars in the Khan novels and comics. Also, the COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS comic illustrated a “canon” background to Khan’s escape from Earth. Truly, though, the entire Eugenics Wars account is conflicting – as confusing as how Spock says it was, since records from the time period were very hard to come by (TOS “Space Seed”).
In a nutshell: In the wake of the vicious end to World War II, during the 1950s, a secret project was underway by many governments in the world, to help root out war and poverty among humanity. This would include creating a string of DNA that would give way to the best humans ever produced. Superior intellect, superior strength, speed, skill, lifespan, no illness, cancers or disease, not even acne (exaggeration: mine). However, some unscrupulous characters (they’re everywhere, aren’t they?) wanted to breed them to become the perfect super soldiers. And so, they did.
40 years later, Khan Noonien Singh from India ruled a quarter of the world with an iron grip. He and his fellow supermen were able to seize control, defeat vast armies, and kill tens of millions at a stretch. However, it was the “simple people” who rose above their overlords by nuking the hell out of them and driving them back from whence they came. Khan had no choice but to escape with a handful of his followers in an experimental spacecraft.
Depending on which version you believe, the war left some untold hundreds of millions dead, having been killed in skirmishes. Or, in JJ’s telling, Khan nuked the planet dozens of times over, eliminating most of the population of the planet. Assuming a middle ground between the two versions, JJ’s being the most outrageous of them, let’s go with no nukes but about a billion gone.
Either way, this was the beginning of the end of humanity we see, today.
World War III
Almost zero information is given about this conflict that took out (only) 600 million(?). The Eugenics Wars definitely raised the bar on the body count at a billion (let’s go with that number). The reason why 600 million seems ridiculous is that Gene Roddenberry, himself, even created the end of this war: The Great Atomic Horror.
“Most of the major cities have been destroyed; very few governments left; 600 million dead… no resistance.”Cmdr. Will Riker, XO, USS Enterprise-E (STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT)
We can assume the death toll was from the destruction of the planet’s major cities. With all of that nuclear destruction, common sense tells us that the immediate flashes of death wouldn’t be the worst part: it would be the untold billions who would have radiation poisoning, mutations, cancers, the very worst of ailments, conditions and extremely painful deaths that would follow.
This leads us to the era of the last scumbag of humanity…
We don’t know much about Colonel Green. He was first introduced to us in the TOS episode, “The Savage Curtain” as an example of “good vs. evil” of humanity as studied by the Excalibans. From his background assumed by Memory Alpha, Colonel Philip Green was the leader of an eco-terrorist group, post war, that wiped out hundreds of millions of people. In the ENTERPRISE episode, “Demons,” we find out who Green selected to wipe out.
The victims of the Great Atomic Horror’s fallout.
Green attempted yet another eugenics war. Instead of supermen, he would “clean house” by killing people with cancer and other mutations caused by the nuclear holocaust. However, we can assume he did much more than simply “end the suffering” of the victims.
My theory: Green was someone who made Adolph Hilter look like a Barbie doll (plastic and harmless). Instead of going after people of a certain ethnicity (Hitler’s purging of the Jews), Green went after those who were having economic struggles, as well as those individuals who had ADD/ADHD, from poor neighborhoods, diabetes, obesity, the LGBTQ+, as well as those who suffered from fallout sicknesses and deformities. Memory Alpha and canon records his death toll at around 300 million.
I would ramp that up to be about a billion, just like the Eugenics Wars. Maybe slightly less.
During the course of the rule of Khan, undoubtedly, there were rapes but even worse, willing sexual interactions with normal people, offspring between supermen as well, passing on those superior genes into the human populace. By the time Green began his genocide, there was clearly a line that was visible, even to the blind, between normal humans and those with “super” Augment genes. It made Green’s work that much easier, and thus, he could kill a good swath of the population of Earth, his work clearly being seen.
We’re not sure how Green met his end, but the damage was done.
The End Result
Going into ENTERPRISE, we know we are in the Roddenberry/Berman era of humanity. Let’s look at the NX-01 crew: Captain Archer, ace pilot and warp specialist. Commander Tucker, one of the best warp theorists and physicists in Starfleet. Ensign Mayweather, ace pilot – the best pilot in all of Starfleet. Lieutenant Reed, one of the best tactical minds on Earth, highly adaptable. Ensign Sato, picks up languages after hearing the first few syllables of words, super sensitive hearing, and is an absolute computer genius.
While a couple of these characters do have some flaws (Reed’s allergy to pineapple for one), it’s safe to assume that Green didn’t get all of the “mutants.” However, we do know that Reed’s tactical mind is far superior to those of any normie out there. It is extremely safe to assume that Augment genes have permanently implanted into the core of humanity. Thus, by the time we get to TOS, humanity is in its ultimate state.
This would also make humanity a very tempting target for the Borg. Humans are a race of beings, inferior physiologically, but highly adaptable and the only species to give perfect resistance against the Collective. It also explains how humans can live beyond today’s expected lifespan of 70-90 years (Dr. McCoy living to be 137 in TNG’s “Encounter at Farpoint,” Archer living to be almost 130-something, since in the Kelvin Timeline, we know that his dog was part of a failed transporter experiment that Mr. Scott took part in prior to the events of STAR TREK (2009)). We also see Picard at age 97, not looking a day over 70 (Sir Patrick Stewart turns 80 in 2020).
While there are still flaws in humanity by the time of NEMESIS, it is clear that the clean-up conducted by Colonel Green had a vast impact on humanity. It’s safe to assume that because of the Augment mixing with normal humans, disease and deformity resistance strengthened monumentally, thus life spans increased to near-Vulcan lengths. Knowing this, it is 100% safe to assume that common household allergies, autism, cancer, AIDS and a need for being hooked to herb-based narcotics has all but been completely eliminated by the time we get to TOS.
Characters like Ensign Tilly, who has a mountain of allergies and autism, and Doctor Jurati, who is autistic, should not exist in their current forms. Lt. Reed had an allergy to pineapple, but medications helped his body be able to “normalize” so he could enjoy his favorite food. That’s one medication for one ailment. Needing a plethora of medications just for normal, everyday life should get you disqualified from Starfleet service (as it does in regular military service in modern day real life).
Characters with flaws: that’s perfectly fine. Events that had been experienced by a certain character would lead to PTSD, depression, or even escapism addiction – we’ve seen this logically in STAR TREK all the time. However, with Kurtzman Trek, these individuals are usually born with these abnormalities, something that just wouldn’t happen. If they did happen, not only would it be super rare, but that character wouldn’t even be considered for Starfleet.
Prime example: Julian Bashir. He was born with developmental problems, learning disabilities and so-on. By today’s standards, Bashir would be just a normal boy. However, in the Roddenberry/Berman era of the future, Julian wouldn’t have made it into a simple university, let alone Starfleet. Knowing this, his parents took him to an alien facility outside of the Federation, and began genetic engineering treatments on him. Thus, Julian was able to enter Starfleet, let his rival be valedictorian, and no one would bat an eye until the EMH Project exposed this fact (DS9, “Doctor Bashir, I Presume”).
During ENTERPRISE, Ensign Sato was claustrophobic and suffered from frequent bouts of space sickness. However, Sato was able to bite her “lip and (get) through it,” as she would say to Captain Archer. Most rational individuals would not be so tough… unless you had Augment DNA in your bloodline.
“Claustrophobic? …and you took a job on a space ship…”Capt. Jonathan Archer (ENT: “Fight or Flight”)
The humans in Alex Kurtzman’s TREK would not be qualified to serve in Starfleet, at all. Ensign Tilly would be rejected on account of her allergies and her autism that were left untreated and/or eliminated. Dr. Jurati shouldn’t exist in her current condition with autism, or at the very least, would not have her autism medically or genetically eliminated.
The imperfect humans we see in Kurtzman TREK are the antithesis of the imperfect humans we know in Roddenberry/Berman (real) TREK. To put it mildly: these humans should not exist whatsoever! They are an abomination, created and placed simply for “identity politics.” STAR TREK has never handled “identity politics” the way Kurtzman TREK does. Thus, what we are seeing is not STAR TREK, but an abomination of it.
This is just one more example of that fact.